Reliving the Past

Reliving the Past


Every place has a past, and every past is important. Archaeology plays an essential role in history and in our museums – shelves of unearthed relics would be nothing more than cabinets of curiosities if archaeology did not help us widen our understanding of humans and their interactions with these objects and pieces of architecture.

The 120-acre Kota Batu Archaeological Park, built at the cost of BND2 million, opened on August 11. Kota Batu means ‘stone fort’ in English and the park features the excavation sites of the archaeological explorations and the remaining structures of stones which once served as a fortress wall.

The stone construct of the walls is indicative that Brunei was an advanced civilization in the 14th century. Over 700 years ago, Kota Batu was the capital of Brunei. It is believed that the area was an open trading port during the reign of the first Sultan of Brunei, and by the 14th century, a castle and a mosque of stones were erected during the reign of Sultan Sharif Ali. When Kota Batu was the capital, it experienced many important historical moments such as the Castille War and the civil war.

The mission of this park is simple: to help the present generation and visiting tourists learn about the history of the sultanate by walking through these excavation sites and viewing the various historical objects displayed around the park. There are several facilities inside the park including an Information Centre that provides a history of Kota Batu and the archaeological work at the park since the 1950s till today. There is also a display of the discovered artefacts including ceramics, tombstones, local wares and Chinese coins in the centre. Visitors can take a self-guided stroll along a 2.9km walkway built around the park with helpful signs along the way with information on the sites.

The Kota Batu Archaeological Park is located next to the Brunei Museum, located along Kota Batu Road just five kilometers from the city centre. The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm.

Images by Novri Rinaldi

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